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Can Fathers Win Child Custody?

Some of the most common questions that people ask divorce lawyers in Orlando, Tampa and throughout the state of Florida are: “can fathers win child custody in Florida?” and “do mothers always win child custody over fathers?” Fathers are typically concerned about losing time with their children simply because the court will automatically grant the mother custody. In the State of Florida, the law is clear.

There is no presumption for or against the father or mother.

Fla Stat. § 61.13 states:

It is the public policy of this state that each minor child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is dissolved and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities, and joys, of childrearing. There is no presumption for or against the father or mother of the child or for or against any specific time-sharing schedule when creating or modifying the parenting plan of the child.
 

As seen above, in the state of Florida, there is no presumption for or against the father or mother of the children. In fact, the state of Florida encourages both parents to have frequent and continuing contact with their children after the marriage is dissolved. In Florida, one parent does not automatically win custody based on their sex, rather child custody decisions are determined by the “best interest standard.” Fathers in Florida may rest easy knowing that they don’t have an uphill battle when attempting to get custody of their child simply because they are a father. 

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